The United States of America is one of the most sought-after countries—no guesswork for why it is such a favorite. An economic powerhouse with political stability and an international cloud gives the country its place as a formidable player in global politics and economics. However disappointing it may be, the United States does not have a Golden Visa program. What it does have, though, is its EB5 Visa.
Not as liberal as a typical Golden Visa scheme, the EB5 Investment Visa is an attempt to attract talented professionals and businesspersons to its fold in exchange for certain short-term and long-term benefits. So, what is it all about? Here are five things you should know about EB5 Investment Visa.
A Basic Introduction
The EB-5 Visa is an immigrant visa aimed at High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) and beyond. Anyone who wishes to establish and run a business in the country requires this Visa. There are investment requirements mandated under the program subject to discounts. Since the Visa is an immigrant visa, it can lead to the acquisition of a green card in the long term; the spouses and the children can enjoy the benefits.
Requirements to apply for the Visa
A slew of requirements needs to be satisfied. These include the following:
- The investor must invest in a ”new commercial enterprise.” The said enterprise is a for-profit business established after November 29, 1990. Any enterprise on or before the date mentioned above can qualify, provided structural and size changes are implemented.
- The investment amount varies depending on the area invested. If the investment is being made in a location designated as a “targeted employment area,” the investor is qualified to make a discounted investment of USD 900,000. The discount does not apply in other areas where the minimum investment amount is USD 1,800,000.
- The investment funds must be at “risk” and should have been legally sourced.
- The investor must ensure that a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for local workers are created through the investor.
- They should be involved in the managerial aspects of the enterprise.
Types of businesses under the program
While most businesses come under the program, some common ones are solo proprietorships, LLCs, and limited partnerships. You can start a new one or invest in an existing one. You may want to purchase an existing business in the country as well.
An outline of the process
A basic idea of the process has been given below:
- Hire an immigration attorney to help you with the visa process.
- Select the investment you wish to make.
- After having made the above selection, you should invest your funds. You must show the same while filing Form I-526.
- Form I-526 is critical to the process. Once your documentation is done, your attorney will file the Form in your stead. Understand this Form as a petition for the Visa. Its approval grants you eligibility for a conditional permanent residency (a conditional green card). The concerned residency is for 2 years.
- During these two years, you are allowed to finish your other requirements for the EB-5 Visa, such as creating full-time jobs.
- Twenty-one months after receiving your conditional permanent residency, you must file Form I-829. This will make you a green card holder. The said Form will do away with your residency’s ‘conditional’ aspect.
- Live as a permanent resident for five years to become eligible for citizenship by naturalization.
Benefits of the program
- You can acquire your green card through this visa program. The said program is also a gateway to citizenship.
- As a successful EB-5 visa holder, your spouse and children, under 21 and unmarried, are also qualified for the green card.
- Access to education and healthcare services.
- Right to live and work in the country. For work, you will not require special work authorization.
- Citizenship will lead you to own one of the strongest passports in the world. This will give you, among other things, access to a large number of countries.
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